By XHABIR DERALLA
It must have been very difficult to be Donald Trump or one of his supporters and followers (in the US or anywhere in the world) during US President Joe Biden’s speech, marking one year since the attack on the US Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021.
Sentence after sentence, paragraph after paragraph, President Biden hammered the facts about what happened on that terrible day for the US democracy. Not even mentioning the name of his predecessor, but rather calling him the “defeated former president.” Indeed, a tough day for any Trumpian and Trump himself. Their “Big Lies” got ripped to pieces.
A struggle between democracy and autocracy
It is very difficult to write about President Biden’s speech, since it is a dazzlingly inspiring, as well as accurate and comprehensive public address. Every word and every thought that he shared speaks of the immense challenges posed by the political violence perpetrated one year ago. And, not only the USA, but democracy in the whole world is confronted by the antidemocratic structures to which Trumpists belong.
According to President Biden, “we’re engaged anew in a struggle between democracy and autocracy, between the aspirations of the many and the greed of the few, between the people’s right of self-determination and self-seeking autocrat.” He said that “from China to Russia and beyond, they’re betting that democracy’s days are numbered. […] They’re betting America’s a place for the autocrat, the dictator, the strong man. […] that is not who we should ever, ever be.”
President Biden said aloud what happened and what is happening to the American, but also the world’s democracy nowadays. It was a direct, honest and emotional speech, stripped from diplomatic deflections.
The “Big Lie” about the “insurrection” taking place on Election Day
President Biden spoke of the three “Big Lies” of the “defeated former president” and his supporters. The first “Big Lie” is the claim of the Trumpists that the “insurrection” actually took place on Election Day, November 3, 2020.
The President asked his fellow Americans: “Is that what you thought when you voted that day? Taking part in an insurrection? Is that what you thought you were doing? Or did you think you were carrying out your highest duty as a citizen and voting?”
“The former presidents’ supporters are trying to rewrite history. They want you to see Election Day is the day of insurrection and the riots that took place here on January 6 as a true expression of the will of the people. Can you think of a more twisted way to look at this country, to look at America? I cannot” – said President Biden, and concluded: “The former president and his supporters have decided the only way for them to win is to suppress your vote and subvert our elections. It’s wrong. It’s undemocratic. And frankly, it’s un-American.”
The “Big Lie” about election results that “can’t be trusted”
President Biden reminded Americans of the second “Big Lie” spread by the former president’s supporters that “the results of the election of 2020 can’t be trusted.”
“The truth is that no election, no election in American history has been more closely scrutinized or more carefully counted” – President Biden argued – “Every legal challenge questioning the results in every court in this country that could have been made, was made and was rejected. Often rejected by Republican-appointed judges, including judges appointed by the former president himself. From state courts to the United States Supreme Court. Recounts were undertaken in state after state. […] None change the results.”
“Rigged Election” only in Trump’s tweets
Trump and his supporters insisted that he could only lose if the election was “rigged” against him. He spoke of that almost every day during his presidential campaign in 2020. So he also did after he was defeated by a margin of over seven million American voters in favor of the winner, the US President Joe Biden.
According to the Trump Twitter Archive he used “rigged” 157 times in his tweets since he took office; 75 times since May, 2020 (counted by Usa Today). “Rigged election. We will win!” – Trump tweeted on November 15, 2020. Earlier that month, Trump tweeted: “A brave patriot. More & more people are stepping forward to expose this Rigged Election!”
After the whole mayhem caused by the “defeated former president”, one may say that “rigged election” remains only in Trump’s tweets.
Twitter permanently suspended Trump’s account on January 8, 2020, two days after the attack on the Capitol.
“After close review of recent Tweets from the @realDonaldTrump account and the context around them — specifically how they are being received and interpreted on and off Twitter — we have permanently suspended the account due to the risk of further incitement of violence.” – Twitter Inc. announced.
Trumpists filed 62 lawsuits, 61 failed; insignificant sole “victory” in Pennsylvania
Out of the 62 lawsuits filed challenging the presidential election, 61 have failed. The lone victory, if one can call that so, came from a Pennsylvania judge who sided with the Trump campaign. The judge ruled that voters could not go back and “cure” their ballots if they failed to provide proper identification three days after the election.
The ruling affected few votes and did not change the outcome in Pennsylvania, which Biden won by 81,660 votes. Insignificant “victory” for Trumpists, to say the least.
The dagger at the throat of America and American democracy
The US President’s speech was probably the strongest ever about another US politician. The state and the level of threats against democracy in the world, and in the USA, is such that one cannot take the luxury of neglecting or postponing this global challenge.
President Biden stated the facts in plain and direct words and thoughts. And made sure not to miss a single point of the “defeated former president’s” role and responsibility in holding the “dagger at the throat of America and American democracy.”
One ballot, different acuity of correctness
When it comes to opposing the election results, President Biden made a brilliant observation:
“The former president and his supporters have never been able to explain how they accept as accurate other election results that took place on November 3rd. Elections for governor, United States Senate, House of Representatives, elections in which they close the gap in the House. They challenged none of that. […] Governor, senators, House of Representatives, somehow those results are accurate on the same ballot. But the presidential race was flawed. And on the same ballot, same day, cast by the same voters. The only difference: the former president didn’t lose those races. He just the lost the one that was his own.”
The “Big Lie” about the “true patriots”
“What did we not see?” – asked President Biden.
“We didn’t see a former president who had just rallied the mob to attack, sitting in the private dining room off the Oval Office in the White House, watching it all on television and doing nothing for hours as police were assaulted, lives at risk, the nation’s capitol under siege.”
The third “Big Lie” pointed out in President Biden’s speech was about those who stormed the Capitol on January 6, 2021 who are falsely depicted as “true patriots” by Trumpian propaganda.
“Patriots? Not in my view. To me, the true patriots are the more than 150 [million] Americans who peacefully expressed their vote at the ballot box, the election workers for protecting the integrity of the vote and the heroes who defended this Capitol. You can’t love your country only when you win, you can’t obey the law only when it’s convenient. You can’t be patriotic when you embrace and enable lies” – said President Biden in his dazzling address to Americans and the world.
A battle for the soul of America
“We are in a battle for the soul of America” – said President Biden and firmly stated: “A battle, but by the grace of God, the goodness and greatness of this nation, we will win.”
For him, January 6 marks “not the end of democracy but the beginning of a renaissance of liberty and fair play.”
“I did not seek this fight brought to this Capital one year ago today. But I will not shrink from it either. I will stand in this breach. I will defend this nation, and I’ll allow no one to place a dagger at the throat of democracy.” – said President Biden, marking one year of the assault on the Capitol.
He made sure to point out the responsibility of Donald Trump, not only of the mob that attacked the Capitol on the critical day. In one of his tweets, prior to the attack, Trump tweeted: “Be there, will be wild!”
Time to face the consequences from the horrific attack on democracy has come. President Biden seems resolute in taking the challenge.
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